While Ichigo’s Hollow side takes on Muramasa, back in Soul Society, Renji and Shuuhei continue to struggle in battle against their own respective Zanpakutou. Shuuhei was already at odds with Kazeshini because they have different fighting styles, and he decides that he doesn’t mind if his Zanpakutou dies and disappears. Renji, on the other hand, has to deal with the Zabimaru duo calling him weak, and he’s unable to do much against them on his own. They know that he’s afraid of destroying his own power, and as he gets beat up, Renji finally remembers Byakuya and the reason he fights. Determined to become stronger and refusing to lose, Renji surprises the duo by successfully releasing his sword into its shikai form. Ichigo meanwhile watches as Muramasa decides that his Hollow side should just be gotten rid of, and since Muramasa isn’t able to win by normal fighting, he uses his special ability to disable Ichigo’s Hollow side. Ichigo notices from the reflection on the building that Muramasa is actually using invisible bindings to keep his Hollow side down, and he decides to step in and save his Hollow side since it’s a part of him. He also makes it clear that he’s not a Shinigami – he’s a human – and he then forces Muramasa out of him. Opening his eyes back in Soul Society, Ichigo is determined to get Zangetsu back, and like Renji, he refuses to lose.


There were some fairly good action sequences this episode, and I like how they’re developing each of the confrontations around different themes related to each individual Shinigami. I certainly agreed with the fact that Renji has been pretty weak, especially when you compare how he’s been portrayed in the main story to the levels that Ichigo has been able to attain, and so I was surprised to see that Renji was the first one (not including Ichigo of course) to be able to initiate shikai without his Zanpakutou spirit. Maybe this means that the spirits aren’t completely gone or something. Regardless, that plus the parallel lines between Renji and Ichigo made for a great way to end the episode on a high note, and I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. The preview didn’t really reveal much, but as I mentioned last week, next week will supposedly show some new form of Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou.


  1. Is anyone going to question the fact that that isn’t Renji’s Zanpakutou Spirit? we already saw it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the soul society arc, and it was a baboon with a snake for a tail.

    I wonder how long this is actually going to run since it seems to be moving pretty fast, plot wise.

    Darma Shoten
  2. Yeah, the surprise factor was at the end with Renji successfully releasing Shikai. I suppose that does mean they are not completely gone from their wielders, or that there is a way to kill the independent Zanpakutou off without their existence being totally eradicated as indicated in the discussion at the start of the episode by Kyouraku and Ukitake.

    The difference between Hisagi and Renji in their fights (one more than willing to take out the other, one afraid to take out the other) might go down different routes to reach the same conclusion of having the Zanpakutou back as their weapons. This will be interesting.

  3. @Darma:

    It has been already confirmed that neither of the Zanpakuto’s forms that appeared are the Avatar forms (the forms they appear in in the souls of their shinigami) of these zanpakzutos. They are their “Human Forms”, hence why most shinigami didn’t even recognize their zanpakzutosa at first. It’s just more blunt with Renji, since we already saw Zabimaru’s avatar form once.

    And before you ask, rather think about it for sorself. Zangetsu’s avatar form is pretty much human already, so it’s no like it could possibly be any “more” human in his “Human Form”.

  4. hmm o_o… I really hope they dont focus on the individual fights of every shinigami all in 1 go… or else it’s going to start seeming like the manga… *sigh*….

    btw anyone find it funny that Renji’s sword is a furry? amusing…

  5. Lamentable.

    This arc is all so exciting, it breaks too much the main continuity of the story of Bleach.

    I would have preferred if they showed Zabimaru as the Original male baboon and snaketail form, rather than this crappy woman and snake boy.

    Shuhei’s siprit is good enough. as he described it at it “looks murderous” at the manga. This hold true for the sprint form as well.

    knight of one
  6. @Darma Shoten

    They said in episode 234 that the snake-kid/hairy-female chick is Zabimaru’s human form. Renji didn’t even recognize it at first, and they explained it to him and he was even more surprised that part of the zanpakutou spirit was female (not sure if the snake-kid is female also).

    I’m looking forward to Renji’s fight next week, I’ve been turned away from Ichigo lately. Sure, he’s the main character but I’d like to see the supporting cast get more development in the future. I’ve always enjoyed characters like Hitsugaya-taichou and Hisagi Shuuhei. The thing I am hoping they avoid the most is leaving out Kenpachi, he’ll probably came in towards the end but you’d think a guy who loves a good fight and strong opponent wouldn’t miss the chance to test the new opponents running around. He’s one of the more popular characters too so I hope to see him soon.

  7. For an episode that was title after hisagi and his zanpaktou, it seem they wanted to focus on Renji’s battle. I glad that they gave Renji some credibility because Renji in past filler is always made to look like an idiot always. I’m also looking forward for next episode as well.

  8. in my opinion before muramasa start the blocking limbs cheat, hollow ichigo in shikai was overpowering him…seems no match for a full vizard ichigo in bankai mode. And that “howl zabimaru” in the end quite surprised me…so mayuri was mistaken saing that the zampakutous left their owners…lets see what happens next.

  9. @dmo
    Of course. Because SB was obviously the first thing to use that style of splitscreen -___-

    And you think that why? Considering he looks exactly like he looked in his appearance-rematch with Grand Fisher…

    Unknown Voice
  10. Well this arc is definitely after the hollow arrancar arc. After the fight with Aizen. Coz in one flashback Renji remembers back e fight with Espada no.7. So this arc must definitely be after that.

  11. If ichigo’s dad is a shinigami, does that mean hes already dead? and he married a chick in human world and gave birth to ichigo?

    if ishida’s father knew ichigos dad, doesn’t that mean hes dead also?


  12. @hellyes
    nope!it’s like in the first arc, when urahara gave rukia a special gigai with the capability of drain all reiatsu from the host transforming her into a living human. After a while rukia left the gigai when she was arrested. Fro me that’s why isshin knows urahara…the latter gave him a special gigai, the same he gave to rukia…but i’m not sure, it’s only my opinion

  13. What could it have been that caused Ichigo and Renji to some how regain the ability to use their Zanpaktous’ powers? Could it have been their own determination or could it be that they never lost it to begin with? And where is Byakuya? I haven’t seen him since episode 231. And what about Kenpachi? Its clear that his own Zanpaktou Spirit came under Muramasa’s control. He doesn’t even know its name.

    Matt Gross
  14. I don’t think this filler arc is going to end anytime soon as there are plenty of vice-captain and captain level (and even some 3-5 seat level) zanpakutous running around to challenge their respective shinigami. Meaning plenty of material to flesh out character and fight wise.

    That said, I’m enjoying this arc a lot more than the Bounto (which I sorta liked) and the Amagai (which I didn’t much care for) arcs. Gives Kubo Tite a lot more breathing room to get further along with the main story of the manga. Whoever came up with this filler arc is a genius; great potential for character development, story, action scenes, and it can stretch out for as long as it needs to.

  15. @Darma Shoten
    Renji requested a sex change for his zanpakuto from Mayuri. It happens in a manga omake, seems the anime studio took it a bit too seriously.

    I wanted to see some teaming up from Ichigo and Hollow. Other than that, an enjoyable episode.

    My theory is that Muramasa suppresses (his ability seems to be that of restraint after all) the zanpakuto and “makes copies” of them, so the ones running around free arent the real ones.

  16. @Jay
    Muramasa said that he killed off his wielder
    This is a filler arc, you can’t kill off regular characters in a filler and then have them suddenly show back up again in the main arc…

  17. Where is the omake of Renji requesting the sex change from Mayuri?
    I don’t read the manga so I’m just looking for that one specific part but I don’t see it blatantly listed as a separate omake on OneManga or MangaFox. I checked the .5 chapters, too.

  18. ______________________________________________________________
    @damian at 6:35 pm on September 2nd, 2009

    Renji requested a sex change for his zanpakuto from Mayuri. It happens in a manga omake, seems the anime studio took it a bit too seriously.

    Well, KT actually designed these characters so maybe the sex change thing was his idea to begin with…?

    And how come no one mentioned how awesome they had Hichigo fight at the 15:00 mark. Sugoi!!!

  19. So happy Renji got his shikai back! Those zanpakutou were annoying me, attacking their partners while they only have the power, though they are the power. Now let’s see what happens now that the sides are equal. Kick their ass for abandoning you!

  20. For the few of you complaining about fillers: aside from their not having a choice but to do them lest they catch up with the manga, these fillers aren’t unrelated to the manga’s fights. Note, for instance, how much Muramasa resembles Ulquiorra. Not literally, of course, but in many ways–and not just Ulquiorra’s unreleased form, either. Also, was Ichigo transforming into a “full” hollow here just a coincidence, or was it to perhaps remind, or, better, ready us for…well. In other words, the fillers aren’t random–they have their own subtle agenda with the main story. I don’t typically like Bleach fillers myself, while I’m loving these–but I like them more because of the seeming parallels between show and manga going on.


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